To avoid this problem Apple has added a button in the iPad to let you check your usage. This link does not keep track but takes you directly to AT&T’s web site and queries your actual account. This means that the usage is tied to the SIM and not the iPad. The counter even survives a full restore of the iPad. You can see your currant usage and your billing period. Should you go over, you can immediately upgrade to the unlimited plan and have that action back dated to the beginning of the period. There’s even an option to add a International Plan. I’ll have to research that option.
I opted for the 250MB plan. I’m going to try to live within that budget. My understanding is that I can increase or decrease my plan at will. The plan is month to month so if I find myself not using it I should turn it off. This weekend I will be out of WiFi coverage and able to test it in earnest. I will be interested to see how fast that 250 MB gets burned up.
I immediately got an email from AT&T telling me about my new phone number. You cannot call that number and there’s no voicemail. I was surprised by this but it makes sense when I thought about it since everything is phone number based.
From: AT&T Customer Care for Wireless <[email protected]>
Subject: AT&T Data Plan Purchase Confirmation
Date: April 29, 2010 2:33:21 PM CDT
You have purchased the 250 MB of data for 30 days for $14.99 rate plan. Your account login is: ****@xevio.us. Please retain this information for future visits to your account via Settings on your iPad.
Your Cellular Data Number is ***-***-****. Please make a note of this number. You will need it should you have to contact customer care for support in the future for this subscription.
Your credit/debit card has been charged $14.99.
Reminder: Domestic iPad Plans may be purchased with unlimited data usage, or with a data usage allotment measured in MBs, for a 30 day period utilizing a credit or debit card. The 30 day period begins to expire immediately upon purchase, whether or not you are using the service. If you purchase a Domestic iPad Plan with a data usage allotment and you use all of your allotment prior to the expiration of the 30 day period, your access to our Data Services will cease for the remainder of the 30 day period. If you want to continue using our Data Services during the remaining 30 day period, you will need to purchase an additional iPad Plan by visiting www.att.com/iPad from your iPad. Domestic iPad Plans include the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.
DOMESTIC IPAD PLANS WILL AUTOMATICALLY RENEW EVERY 30 DAYS, AND YOU AUTHORIZE US TO CHARGE YOUR CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD FOR YOUR INITIAL AND ANY SUBSEQUENT IPAD PLAN, UNLESS YOU CANCEL THE AUTOMATIC RENEWAL OF YOUR SERVICE. TO CANCEL AUTOMATIC RENEWAL, VISIT WWW.ATT.COM/IPAD FROM YOUR IPAD PRIOR TO YOUR NEXT SCHEDULED PAYMENT TO AVOID BEING CHARGED. IN ORDER TO PROCESS YOUR AUTOMATIC RENEWAL IN A TIMELY FASHION AND ENSURE YOUR CONTINUED USE OF THE SERVICE, AT&T WILL CHARGE YOUR CREDIT CARD OR DEBIT CARD FOR THE AUTOMATIC RENEWAL APPROXIMATELY TWO HOURS BEFORE YOUR NEW IPAD PLAN 30 DAY PERIOD AUTOMATIC RENEWAL IS SET TO BEGIN. SHOULD YOU CANCEL AUTOMATIC RENEWAL AFTER WE HAVE CHARGED YOUR CARD BUT BEFORE THE AUTOMATIC RENEWAL PERIOD IS SET TO BEGIN (E.G. WE CHARGED YOUR CREDIT CARD FOR THE RENEWAL AT 7 AM ET FOR A 9 AM ET AUTO RENEWAL AND YOU NOTIFIED US TO CANCEL THE AUTOMATIC RENEWAL AT 8 AM ET), PLEASE CONTACT AT&T CUSTOMER SERVICE TO PROCESS A CREDIT FOR THE AUTOMATIC RENEWAL.
Weather: Give both Weather Bug and The Weather Channel apps a try. You can also find weather embedding in various other apps like USA Today or your local TV News station’s application. There are specialized RADAR apps as well as apps to track everything from Hurricanes to Earthquakes.
I’d like to see Apple let YouTube and Maps players go but clearly they see those as integral to the experience and they are not likely to rely on Google to maintain them at the expected Apple level of quality.
One thing I found very interesting was how Apple delivered iBooks. It did not come with the iPad. It was available as a free app download. The user is prompted upon entering the App Store for the first time making it extremely easy to get. This is a really good thing. It means that users can delete the app if they don’t want it. Network administrators can prevent it from ever hitting the phone. Apple doesn’t need to worry about parental controls in the app as it would be treated like any other app with a rating. And the most important benefit: Apple can update the iBooks app independently of the operating system release schedule. The iBooks app will never have to wait until all versions of the OS have been updated to send a bug fix to users. This is going to be a problem as Apple increases the number of platforms it is supporting. You can see already they are leaving the first generation iPhones behind in the next rev of the OS. Even the previous generation is only going to get partial support for new features. This kind of decoupling is necessary for the long term success of the platform.
The iPad does include a “Videos” app like the iPod Touch did. This is a cleaner metaphor than the iPod app which is confusing on a device also called an iPod. Should the iPod app be called just “Music”?
Right at 7am the fireworks started on the east end of the stadium which was to my right. It was an impressive display that lasted about a minute. I had been shooting a bit of video up to this point and decided to take this opportunity to change memory cards. I have two 16GB cards but I did not know how much I had used of the first card. As I was switching cards the fireworks stopped and there was an eerie silence interrupted only by cheers from the crowd.
Then there were 10 more smaller fireworks coming from the other end of the stadium near the VIP area. This was the countdown. I started recording again. For the next 30 seconds we watched the progression of explosions walk around the stadium. The sound was incredible. We could feel each concussion wave hit us even from a half kilometer away.
Video was shot using my Canon T1i EOS digital camera with a 35-105mm lens. 1280×720 24fps H.264, Linear PCM